Archive | May, 2012

7 Can Soup (Quick and Easy, Not So Healthy! Lol!)

5 May

This is a quick, easy, tasty, favorite fall/winter soup. It was given to me as a quick and easy “New Mom” meal when our first child was born. It does make a nice gift, what with all the cans, etc.

What you need:

+ 2 cans corn

+ 2 cans chili with beans

+ 2 cans condensed veggie beef soup

+ 1 can condensed tomato soup

+ 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

What you do:

Toss the contents of the cans all together into a big stew pot or crockpot, and heat until hot. Prepare the Jiffy Mix as directed on the box. Serve soup and corn muffins together — nice and warm for a cold fall or winter day! If you like your food spicy, you can add your favorite salsa or hot sauce to the soup — it goes really nicely with it. This soup is so tasty, it won’t last long!

(I use WalMart store brand for all the canned ingredients, and buy low sodium cans — it all works well for this soup and makes it a VERY tasty and VERY cheap meal.)

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Hot Beef Dip

4 May

This recipe is an heirloom from my mother, godmother, and a dear long-time (and now 80s+) friend of the family. It was originally the long-time friend’s recipe (she has been a FABULOUS cook all her life! I could seriously eat anything she makes, including seafood, which I despise, and enjoy it!), but it has become a staple for parties/hosting/snacking in all our households. I like to make this in the spring and summer, when party time and baby showers are in high gear. But I also like to make it for us “just because” as a special snack. Think of it is as melted cheese ball, essentially.

What you need:

+ 1 jar of salt-cured, thin-sliced beef, chopped up into fine pieces (sometimes called chipped beef, too)

+ 1/4 cup chopped onion, or 1 tablespoon onion powder

+ 2 tablespoons butter

+ 1/2 cup milk

+ 1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened and cubed

+ 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional — and I NEVER do this. I don’t like mushrooms…)

+ 1/4 shredded or grated parmesan cheese

+ 2 tablespoons chopped or dried parsley (optional)

What you do:

Melt the butter in a medium skillet or sauce pan over medium heat. Brown the onions or onion powder. Add the milk and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Then add the cheese cubes and stir until melted, reduce heat to low. Dump in the parmesan and mix well until melted all around. Finally toss in the “chipped beef” and mix well. If during the melting/cooking process the texture gets too clumpy, simply add a tablespoon of milk as often as needed until it returns to a runny cream texture. Pour into a heat safe dish or bowl, garnish with parsley, and serve up on toasted bread, mini toast, crackers, baguette slices, homemade whole wheat bread, pita bread, or whatever you like best. It is great hot, straight off the stove top, or cold out of the refridgerator. Enjoy! 🙂

Best Ever Banana Bread

4 May

Banana bread is great — if it’s made just right. Here’s the result of several years of research and tweaking until the “just right” recipe came to be. I really enjoy making this during the winter, when a toasty kitchen full of yummy baking smells is just oh-so-comforting. 🙂

What you need:

+ 4 to 6 overripe bananas. I like mine frozen and slightly thawed.

+ 2 tsp. lemon juice (I’ve also used lime, and it works fine, too.)

+ 3 cups flour (I use 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and one cup whole wheat flour)

+ 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

+ 1/4 tsp. salt

+ 3/4 cup butter, softened

+ 2 1/8 cup sugar (I use 1 1/8 cup regular white cane sugar, and 1 cup brown sugar — dark or light works fine)

+ 2 tsp. vanilla

+ 1 1/3 cup buttermilk (I use “old” milk or regular milk and put the 2 tsp. of lemon juice in with it first)

+ 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

What you do:

+ Cream butter and sugar together. Add overripe bananas and mash together. Mix in milk and lemon juice. Add in vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix in raisins (make sure they are separated apart, not clumpy). Finally, gradually add in a cup at a time the flour. This should give you a very runny “cake” batter. Grease two bread loaf pans, or one 9×13 baking dish or cake pan. I like to use glass as I think it gives the edges a nicer crust, but metal ones work just fine, too. Preheat over to 325F and bake for 1 hr 30 min. to 2 hrs. depending on how quickly your oven cooks. The bread is done when you can stick a toothpick or knife in the center and it comes up clean. Remove from the oven and cool 15 min. Place uncovered in the freezer for 45 min. I usually leave mine in over night. The freezing part makes the bread condense as it cools and makes for a very moist texture. Remove from the freezer, cut and serve. Oh, you can also serve it hot/warm when it comes out of the oven, but I don’t like it like that as the texture is dryer and more “bready” and I like mine moist. Serve plain or with cream cheese or cream cheese frosting, or drizzle milk/half-n-half/fresh cream/condensed milk over it. Yummy all those ways!

Iced Mint Tea

3 May

Here is one of my favorite summer drink!

What you need:

+ a 2 quart pitcher that can handle hot and cold drinks (my Tupperware ones work GREAT!)

+ a way to boil 2 quarts of water (I use my “singing” tea kettle, but a large pot or even a microwaveable dish would do the trick)

+ 2 herbal min tea bags

+ 1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey (I always use the honey)

What you do:

Bring two quarts of water to boil. Let cool about 5 minutes before pouring into the 2 quart pitcher. Immediately insert your two herbal mint tea bags into the hot water. Add the sugar or honey. Stir well. Leave the pitcher out to cool and let the tea percolate well. I usually leave mine out for several hours before refridgerating. However, you can also serve the tea immediately over ice to enjoy your chilled drink right away. I don’t take my tea bags out until I’ve drunk the whole pitcher, which can take a day or two. But once the bags have percolated for several hours you can remove them and throw them away. For some reason, I don’t! Laziness I guess. 🙂 Special note: if you are going to serve your tea over ice immediately, and your serving cup is a glass, it’s a good idea to put a metal spoon in the glass first, then your ice, then pour the tea in. For some reason, the metal spoon helps diffuse the heat enough to keep the glass from shattering if it is not heat resistant or able to handle drastic temperature changes. Once you’ve served your glass, you can take the spoon out.

Easy Homemade Ice Cream

3 May

This is one of the tastiest, easiest homemade ice cream recipes I know. This one is for vanilla. If you like other flavors, simply substitute your favorite flavor for the tablespoon of vanilla in this recipe. You can also add food coloring for color if you like. I like to crunch up candy bars, cookies and chocolate chips or pureed fruit and mix it in, too, once the ice cream has frozen! Delicious!!!

Basic Recipe:

+ 3/4 cup sugar

+ 2 eggs

+ 4 cups half and half (or 3 cups half and half, 1 cup heavy cream)

+ 1 tablespoon vanilla (or mint, walnut, almond or whatever other flavor you like)

+ 1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix sugar and eggs until well blended and light in color. Blend in cream, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Chill for several hours or overnight until thickened and “ice creamy”. Serve and enjoy! It does melt quickly, so don’t leave it sitting out long.